What is a Walnut?

Walnuts with leaf.

We all know that nuts are great for our health, but few people know the differences between certain types of nuts. Additionally, a lot of people are unaware that understanding these differences is key to a healthy, fit lifestyle.

So today we’ll answer the simple question – what is a walnut?

Walnuts come from the tree nut family and are in the same group as Brazilian tree nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios. What’s interesting, though, is that each of these nuts has its own unique nutritional values, so that’s why understand them is key to choosing the ones you need most in your diet.

For example, you can get some types of walnuts – like black walnuts – in the form of a supplement. These walnuts specifically help your body’s immune system and intestinal tract function better, keeping you healthier.

Walnuts as a whole, however, are known for their incredibly high amounts of the plant-based omega-3 fats (different from the fatty acids you get from certain meats, such as fish). In fact, just a quarter-cup of walnuts contains more than your entire recommended daily value of those omega-3 fats.

They present a few other health benefits as well.

If you have heart issues, or a history of heart disease in your family, you want to incorporate walnuts into your diet on a regular basis. Walnuts contain a certain amino acid (which is a type of protein) called L-arginine. This amino acid works directly with your body’s vascular system to ensure it functions at the highest level possible. So if you have any risk factors at all for cardiac issues, walnuts in your diet can be a great way to combat a bit of bad genetics, over which you’ve never had any control.

Additionally, if you struggle with any sort of weight issues, walnuts may be another good option. While they are high in certain fats, these are the fats your body needs to be healthy. We know the differences between healthy and bad fats, and walnuts contain a bunch of healthy ones.

One reason walnuts may help in losing weight is due to the fact that they encourage resting energy expenditure. When you’re at work – sitting behind a desk, driving, etc. – getting the regular daily movement you need to shed extra weight is tricky. Nuts, however, help your body expend more energy while you’re resting, which means that stubborn belly fat will be a bit easier to get rid of.

Overall, walnuts are a great health option for those looking for a bit of an extra boost to their lifestyle. From helping out your heart, providing fatty acids, and aiding in weight loss.

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